Monthly Archives: December 2014

Conscious Mindfulness in the New 2015 Year

First of all, we’d like to thank our readers for being with us this year as we’ve explored a number of topics, as we’ve shared new authors and books, and as we’ve continued to celebrate customers, libraries, and B Corporations. Thank you for engaging with us!

As we sign off on 2014 and look forward to 2015, we do so with a conscious mindfulness of our own shopping behaviors and business practices. Here, some of our team members weigh in about how we’re going to carry that into the new year:

Rana

Aligning my purchasing power with my values has become increasingly important to me. I don’t want to support companies that take human lives or the environment for granted. So instead, I make a conscious effort to support businesses that have a positive impact on the world. Each and every B Corporation does this, for example. As an entrepreneur, I further make decisions to shop small. It delights me to buy handmade goods from artisans on Etsy, which often arrive with a hand-written thank you note penned by the artist. This holiday season, I am pleased that I bought the vast majority of the gifts I am giving from conscious capitalists and/or small, local business owners. I intend to continue this practice into the New Year and beyond, and to raise the awareness of others with the hope of encouraging them to do the same. I want to be the change I seek in the world and a catalyst for others to join me.

Lana
This year I found myself more mindful of where I was spending my money as a consumer. As I left with my holiday purchases from various local stores, it felt good knowing that my little contribution perhaps helped in some way to employ a local high school kid that worked there part time. To be honest, sometimes it took a bit more effort whenever I had to search for parking but it was worth it because I received very warm customer service shopping locally.
Shopping small and supporting brands that have responsible business values reminded me that it is a good thing to do year round not just during the holiday season.
Laura
 I’ve DEFINITELY changed my shopping habits since I started working at Little Pickle Press. Being faced regularly with how my shopping habits reverberate across the globe seems to have immunized me against GAP 40% off deals and Old Navy BOGO offers. Seriously. I can’t stomach them.

Kelly

Working with people who are terribly conscious about shopping and who pick out gifts for others only if the purchase makes a difference in the world has changed how I do business when I’m buying something. There was a time when the cheap crap was attractive to me just so I could have stuff, but I’d rather get quality over quantity now especially since I’ve gotten to see firsthand what conscious capitalism looks like. Once you start shopping this way, you can’t go back to the BOGO offers. Going forward, all my shopping is a deliberate conscious choice.

Audrey

I am not much of a shopper, unless it comes to haunting yarn stores. With two spinning wheels, two dozen spindles, three looms, and a billion knitting needles, I tend to make most of the things on our holiday gift list.

Possibly because of my “handmade” history, I feel very strongly about Fair Trade and independent businesses. The one-of-a-kind pieces and ethical promise provided by that kind of production can never be balanced by saving a few dollars at a chain store. Buy local, buy fair, or buy a train ticket. I’ll be happy to give you a knitting lesson.

 

 Happy New Year, everyone! We’re so glad you joined us and we’re looking forward to sharing more with you in 2015.
Conscious capitalism during the holidays

My “Bah! Humbug!” Christmas or,

How Conscious Capitalism Helped Me Take Back the Holidays

The holidays have always been a special time for me. When I was younger, I looked forward to the relaxed holiday atmosphere at school (later work). I loved seeing family and friends who had returned from far away places. I enjoyed (and enjoyed!) seasonal treats like eggnog (later hot buttered rum), homemade fudge, and ravioli from my favorite deli. And the gifts! The anticipation of seeing the look on someone’s face when they received something they weren’t expecting, or an item they needed but couldn’t get themselves, was the best feeling I could imagine.

But then something shifted.

I found myself spending my holiday free time trying to find that “special thing” for that “special someone.” My out-of-town family and friends were tough to track down, stuck in “holiday traffic” at the mall, or preoccupied with how behind they were on their shopping. The rum was hot-buttered and the fudge was fluffy, but the festive feasting I once enjoyed (and enjoyed!) seemed rote. There were presents to open, but the gifts I cherished were few and far between.

To paraphrase Charles Dickens, I had been put out of humor with the season.

And so I announced to my friends and family that I wouldn’t be buying them Christmas gifts anymore. I further admonished that they should return the favor. I had enough, I told them. They had enough. Something had to give and it wasn’t going to be us! But it was an empty threat. The season of giving runs deep in me and the thought of not giving anything to anyone left me feeling just as hollow as the mad rush to consume had.

My solution? Conscious capitalism. I didn’t need to stop giving; I needed to give in a way that elevated my existence and the existence of those around me. I needed to support businesses that were lifting people out of poverty; businesses that had caring cultures; businesses that were committed to creating a world in which we can all prosper.

Today, I have set an intention to give well. When I buy from To The Market, I know my dollars are well spent, empowering abuse survivors. When I donate to Heifer International, I know I have helped a family to become self-reliant.

These are the real gifts, significant to the maker, gratifying to the giver, and meaningful to the recipient.

To paraphrase Dickens once again, I honor this intention in my heart and try to keep it all the year.

Fair trade foods

Fair Trade Feasting:

Blueberry Energy Cake

What comes to mind when you hear the phrase “fair trade?” Coffee or chocolate, if you’re like the typical consumer. Chocolate coffee, if you think like I do. Heh, heh, heh.

The concept of fair trade is essentially the quest to provide fair prices to producers in developing countries, with a triple goal of reducing poverty, increasing ethical treatment of workers, and promoting environmentally sustainable practices.

To power up your fair trade resolve as we head into the new year, I’d like to offer the following cake recipe. Originally published in the October 25th, 2012 issue of the Lawrence Journal-World, Blueberry Energy Cake is quick, yummy enough to please palates of all ages, and can be made almost entirely with Fair Trade and locally-sourced ingredients.

Crank up your oven to 350 degrees and grease an 8-inch square pan.

Whenever I make this cake, I use my two-cup glass measuring cup and a medium bowl. It’s not quite an all-in-one process, but it definitely cuts down on the dishes. However you go about it, measure two cups of whole wheat flour into your bowl. Add three quarters of a cup of sugar, and a generous tablespoon of baking powder.

A confession: I rarely mess with measuring spoons in a lot of recipes. With a little practice, you can get pretty good at “eyeballing”, and a simple coffee cake won’t suffer from a tiny variance in ingredients. Use a fork to measure out your tablespoon, if you’re so inclined.

Stir the dry ingredients together, and then cut in four tablespoons of butter. Rub the butter into the flour mixture until it’s close to the consistency of cornmeal. Yes, with your hands. It’s a lot easier than using two knives or a pastry blender. Just squeeze and stir the butter around in the flour until the lumps are gone.

Zap half a cup of milk along with a quarter-cup of honey in the microwave; one minute is plenty. This is where the glass measuring cup comes in handy. Whisk in one large egg, and then stir this mixture into your flour mix until just combined. Add three ounces of frozen blueberries and stir to distribute.

Spread the batter in your prepared pan and sprinkle the top with a little sugar. Bake it for half an hour and enjoy the smells that fill your kitchen. Unlike most baked desserts, you can eat this one almost straight out of the oven. Serve it as is, or with fresh whipped cream. Don’t forget to include a good book and your favorite hot beverage.

If you’re having trouble finding Fair Trade suppliers, here are some good places to start:

Find a B Corp

Fair Trade USA

Fair Trade Federation

Enjoy the cake, and be sure to tell us about your favorite Fair Trade recipes and suppliers in the comment section.

Denver Public Library

Featured Library of the Month:

Denver Public Library

I remember spending long hours in the local branch Denver Public Library when we lived in Colorado years ago. At the time I was learning about quilting; I probably read every book they had on the subject, and the children all found companions in Winnie the Pooh and the Hardy Boys. Since then, the library has grown and thrived, offering not only books on just about any subject one could want, but also hosting events for the members of all ages.

Regular programs at various branch libraries are varied and designed to bring people together based on a love of books. Stitchers, knitters, embroiderers, and crocheters can the company of other crafters while sharing their most intriguing read of the month, from novels to poetry to magazine or newspaper articles at the Virginia Village Branch. The Eugene Field Branch offers Engage Fridays, when resident wordsmiths may gather for a game of world-class Scrabble, or budding photographers might learn about preserving digital photos, among other things. Pauline Robinson Branch Library even offers a program for grandparents raising grandchildren. Different branches host book clubs for various ages as well as get-togethers featuring food, drink, and, of course, books.

The library also offers many online services, including downloads, Volume: A Local Music Project, and of Fresh City Life Events. One neat thing is that members can request a personalized reading list. I bet that at certain times of the year, high school and college students are flooding them with requests for these!

The Denver Public Library can cater to almost any mood. If you are feeling quiet, hunker down in a corner with a good book. Nostalgic? Listen to music from bygone eras. Socializing your thing? Join a book or craft club, or stop by for any of the many events offered throughout the year. Whatever you are looking for, you just may find it at the Denver Public Library!

Vivienne Harr: Selling Lemonade to Free Child Slaves

Back in March I got to view the trailer for Stillmotion’s first feature length documentary, Stand With Me. It premiered February 1st of this year and was about a little girl in California, Vivienne Harr, who was selling lemonade on the sidewalk to free child slaves. I got to sit down with one of the co-producers, Grant Peelle, and the social media campaign director, Emily Thomas and we talked about what made this documentary so special. Here’s the summary of Stand With Me:

Only a 9-year-old would dream a lemonade stand could change the world. After seeing a photo of two enslaved boys in Nepal, Vivienne Harr is moved to help in the only way she knows how: by setting up her lemonade stand. With the goal of freeing 500 children from slavery, she sets up her stand every day, rain or shine. In telling Vivienne’s story, #standwithme examines the realities of modern-day slavery, the role we play in it as consumers, and the importance of knowing the story behind what we buy.

What is the The Power of One?

Even while I’m in the business of educating students and helping them aim high academically, the larger work at play is in developing contributing citizens. “Do you know what we all have in common? Someday we’re all going to get jobs in this world. We all get there differently.” I ask this question of every incoming and outgoing student in my building as I speak to them about their progress in school, but ultimately I learn that so many of them want what many children want: they want to change the world.

But, they think they’re just one person and how can they possibly make a difference?

Connected Storytelling

The film opens with photographer, Lisa Kristine, and how she captures stories through photography. She’s the first connection in the story that leads us, eventually, to Vivienne Harr. It was Lisa who put a face on slavery with her pictures to portray the community of humanity, but it was the burden of showing their dignity that she took on as her life work. For me, the most powerful part of the film is when she, humbly, explains that she missed seeing the obvious numerous times when she previously visited these developing countries. She hadn’t even noticed the child slaves right before her eyes.

Know+your+products_NepalYouth Source: Lisa Kristine

From there, the film shows Lisa’s work in a gallery that Vivienne’s parents visited and they shared that experience with her. Almost immediately, she wanted to do something to help. After viewing the movie, my initial reaction about dreaming big was renewed because, as Grant said to me on the phone, “If we ask the right questions as consumers, then we can end slavery.”

Let me repeat that: we can end slavery. We can make purchasing decisions that affect the conscious capitalism we’re supporting here at Little Pickle this month.

The Journey

When a 9-year old learned about the 29.8 million people enslaved in the world today, she decided to take action. When Lisa Kristine took a photograph it ended up in a film that took filmmakers from Vivienne’s home in Fairfax, CA to Namibia, Nepal, Ghana, and the Dominican Republic. When Vivienne sold lemonade for free and asked people to give what was in their heart, it brought awareness to an audience about really knowing where our products come from. And while it’s not enough to just support the anti-slavery movement, the message of this movie is that if you want to make a difference you have to know that the products don’t come from slaves. The more we buy these products the more we actually support slavery.

The Impact

Now, the Make a Stand company is on a new journey. They decided to continue raising money for anti-slavery and the company is neither a not-for-profit nor a non-profit; it’s a social purpose company. Proceeds from it go to International Justice Mission, Free the Slaves, and Fair Trade USA. Make a Stand became simply Stand and it is the first mobile crowd-funding for friction-free philanthropy. They’re coming out with an app where people can donate to make it easier to directly support.

Building the Future

Perhaps my favorite part of Stand With Me is that it explores modern day child slavery through the eyes of a 9 year old who decided to take a stand, a concept from a true-to-life story that takes conscious capitalism to children in an accessible way. It’s a film I want all of my students to view.

Take just a moment to watch the trailer and, if you rent the film directly from the site for $5.99, you can rest assured knowing that a portion of that goes to the anti-slavery movement.

Sourcephoto credits to Lisa Kristine

 

Consumer Toolbox

New Gadgets for Your Responsible Consumer Toolbox

American consumers are becoming increasingly aware of corporate behavior, both good and bad. Only a few years ago, events in remote corners of the world involving transnational corporations and local communities and the environment were largely unknown. Today, consumers in the developed world can observe the impacts of corporate behavior almost in real time. This volume of information has put companies both large and small on notice that their conduct in remote parts of the world will be noticed, often in a big way. As an example, a Canadian mining company, Barrick Gold has found itself in the midst of a public relations crisis for the way it has compensated women in a remote part of Papua New Guinea for harms done to them by security forces protecting the mining operation. Similar examples abound where companies find themselves in situations that create reputational risk with investors and consumers every day.

In response to corporate misconduct, consumers are turning away from products and services that in one way or another harm the environment or negatively impact local communities from Siberia to South Africa. Activists urge boycotts of products and services by consumers but with varying results. This “negative consumerism” may make socially conscious consumers feel engaged on issues of social importance. However, I would argue that such tactics have limited impact on future corporate behavior. On occasion, consumer boycotts of products work, most notably the boycotts of California table grapes and Coors beer. But the vast majority of boycotts and certainly conscientious consumer habits have little impact on corporate behavior and almost no impact on sales.  On the plus side are the more amorphous reputational impacts caused by well-publicized consumer campaigns. However, these sorts of consumer actions are not going away because of their effectiveness or lack thereof, but will remain a means for many consumers wanting to make a difference.

So this leaves us with the following:

A popular approach to changing corporate behavior is through the use of shareholder engagement. This is an approach using shareholder proposals calling on companies to take some action or refrain from conduct deemed socially irresponsible. A provision contained in the Security & Exchange Act of 1940 allows investors owning at least $2,000 of company stock at the time of submitting a proposal to a company to place on the ballot of the annual meeting, a resolution calling on the company to act in some manner. The company must include the proposal, if properly filed, in its proxy statement that is then voted on by all shareholders in the company in question. As a practical matter, most proposals are filed by institutional investors—pension funds, socially responsible investment funds, and religious organizations—and are then voted on by all shareholders using a proxy, which in simplest terms is a mail-in ballot that is then tabulated by a voting agent for the company. These shareholder proposals generally do not get a majority of shareholder votes but often send a strong message to company executives that changes must be made. As an example, shareholder concerns arising out of supply chain problems at major apparel companies has resulted in a marked improvement by many companies to monitor the human rights behavior of their garment suppliers. By way of example, the uproar by both investors and consumers arising out of the Rana Plaza garment factory collapse in Bangladesh that killed 1,129 people and injured an additional 2,515 workers resulted in new standards for the major apparel retailers.

For socially responsible consumers, opportunities for action arise for changing corporate behavior as well.

First, for individuals and families who purchase shares of stock in individual companies, they can vote their proxies, particularly where other investors have submitted socially responsible shareholder proposals. This requires people to open the large envelopes that come in the mail that contain the red and white proxy ballot, the company’s annual report, and the proxy statement, which is a rather hyper-technical document that often scares off the most informed investors. But don’t despair, all proxies are formatted the same way, with a discussion about the company executives and how much they get paid taking up the bulk of these documents, and toward the back of the proxy statement a description of proposals put to a vote and arguments pro and con about the substance of the proposals. Read this part of the proxy statement and you will have a better understanding of the issues presented for a vote. Then vote your proxies and mail them in to the vote tabulator. A postage paid envelope will be included and you can also vote by phone or on the Internet.

Second, even if you do not own stock in companies directly, you are likely to own shares in a mutual fund or two. You can find what companies a mutual fund invests in in the fund prospectus and if you spot a company of concern, you can engage the mutual fund by voting against its board of directors. Combined with an expression of your reasons, written on the proxy ballot, it will get their attention. On more than one occasion, executives have said to me that notes written on a ballot are flagged and people in the company take note of the information provided.  You can also demand that the mutual fund engage with the company in question on the issues of concern to you. As mutual funds are the largest investors in many public companies, this unwanted attention by a major investor could compel action.

By adding these tactics to your responsible consumer toolbox, you will have a few more tools that you can us to make the world a better place.

John Richardson

John Richardson is the Co-Director of the Business & Human Rights Program at the Center for Human Rights & Humanitarian Law at American University Washington College of Law and a professor at AU’s School of International Service.

 

 

Photo Credit (top of post): Tiaga Company http://blog.taigacompany.com/blog/sustainability-business-life-environment/growing-business-sustainability-expectations-among-eco-educated-consumers

Northshire Bookstore

Featured Customer of the Month:

Northshire Bookstore

Northshire Bookstore is a wonderful example of how a community bookstore can be at the center of any thriving community. They have two locations, one in Saratoga Springs, New York, and the other in Manchester Center, Vermont, and both have events scheduled throughout the year to bring booklovers together.

In addition to our own Coleen Paratore, Northshire has hosted Peter Yarrow of Peter, Paul and Mary, Jeff Kinney of Diary of a Wimpy Kid fame, and Alan Benoit with his Sustainability Series—50 Shades of Green, among others. They also have story times for children, photographic displays, and artsy afternoons.

With the holidays coming up, the spirit of giving is in the air. The Northshire Bookstore’s Book Angel Program is celebrating its twentieth year this month.  Names of children who may not otherwise have access to books are collected from twenty-one local schools, and books are chosen by booksellers and customers for each child. The books are then handed out by the schools before holiday break. This program is made possible through public and private donations, as well as funds provided directly from the bookstore.

If you’re in the area, why not stop by? It’s a little slice of reader’s Heaven for the Book Angel in all of us.

Gift Guide Ideas

Holiday Accolades:

We Wish You a Merry Gift Guide!

On the first day of Christmas, my gift guide gave to me … some awesome deals from LPP!

Yes, folks, Team Pickle is pleased to see that we’ve gotten our presents early this year, in the form of some very kind shout-outs from some of the top names in conscious capitalism. If you’re still on the lookout for great gifts this holiday season, may we suggest that you have a look through the following gift guides?

  1. ForeWord Reviews: Geared toward young readers, this list of “10 Best Indie Picture Books of 2014” will even have Mom and Dad asking for just one more story at bedtime.
  2. The Jacke Wilson Blog: When a fellow author touts your stuff, it’s definitely a feel-good moment. In the post linked here, Jacke Wilson shines a spotlight on Little Pickle Press and its status as a Certified B Corp.
  3. B Corp Store: Speaking of certified, the B Corps Store has put together a list of certifiably fabulous items for the wee ones in your life, from books (cough, smile) to blocks to backpacks.
  4. Cool Mom Picks: We can’t talk about cool gift guides without mentioning Cool Mom Picks. A handy resource for cool parents of any gender, CMP has gift-giving suggestions for kids of every age and interest.
  5. Kristen Howerton: The mind behind rageagainsttheminivan.com, Kristen offers thoughtful (and surprisingly rage-free) advice and anecdotes. She also provides regular guides that feature “gifts that give back.”
  6. Family BookshelfThe family that reads together … well, it’s a safe bet that they do plenty of other cool stuff together. Terry Doherty’s Reading Tub is just the place to find family-friendly, share-worthy books.

Of course, we couldn’t call this gift guide list complete if we didn’t guide you to our own special promotions for the holiday season. To support our theme of conscious capitalism, we’re very excited to offer a free shipping promo from now through December 14th. During that same timeframe, you can make a special book bundle purchase—our award-winning What Does It Mean To Be …? series, signed by the author and packed in a reusable tote with a gift tag and a TerraSkin poster—for only $39.95!

Gift Guide: Free Shipping!

Reimagining Capitalism with a Consciousness

Today, we’re sharing a TED Talk video with our readers in the hopes that they’ll be as inspired as we are about what our world is evolving towards in consumerism.  Author and speaker Raj Sisodia shared a fascinating look at how we can reimagine Capitalism with Higher Consciousness and the way he discusses how humanity can and should use capitalism to pull people from poverty is rather astounding. It’s shifted my entire thinking about the way we can do capitalism when it’s connected to our higher consciousness.

A founding member of the Conscious Capitalism movement, Raj Sisodia is an FW Olin Distinguished Professor of Global Business and Whole Foods Market Research Scholar in Conscious Capitalism at Babson College. He is also co-founder and co-Chairman of Conscious Capitalism Inc.

From his TED Talk: To Reimagine America, we must reimagine capitalism. Capitalism has been extraordinarily successful over the past two centuries at raising human living standards, life expectancy and life satisfaction. But the old way is not working any more. The world has changed so much and people have evolved so rapidly that we need to bring a higher level of consciousness to the world of business. When we do so, the results can be astonishing.

About Raj Sisodia

Raj has published seven books and over 100 academic articles. His work has been featured in the Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, Fortune, Financial Times, The Washington Post, The Boston Globe, CNBC, etc.

His book Conscious Capitalism: Liberating the Heroic Spirit of Business (with John P. Mackey, co-founder and co-CEO of Whole Foods Market) was published by Harvard Business Review Press in 2013, and rose to #2 on the Wall Street Journal Business Bestseller list. Earlier books include Firms of Endearment: How World Class Companies Profit from Passion and Purpose (named one of the best business books of 2007 by Amazon.com) and The Rule of Three: How Competition Shapes Markets (a finalist for the 2004 Best Marketing Book Award from the American Marketing Association). Other books include The 4A’s of Marketing: Creating Value for Customers, Companies and Society (with Jagdish N. Sheth, Routledge, 2011), Tectonic Shift: The Geoeconomic Realignment of Globalizing Markets (with Jagdish N. Sheth, Sage Publications, 2006) and Does Marketing Need Reform? (co-edited with Jagdish N. Sheth, M.E. Sharpe, 2006).

kevin dooley via photopin cc

First Friday Book Review: The Cat's Pajamas by Daniel Wallace

First Friday Book Review:

The Cat's Pajamas

Written and illustrated by Daniel Wallace, the subject of our First Friday book review isn’t just The Cat’s Pajamas; it’s also the bee’s knees!

Louis Fellini is one cool cat with a streak of individuality a mile wide. Much to his parents’ chagrin, he loves to display it through his wild wardrobe. Plastic jackets, grass skirts—Louis always dares to be different, rejecting the traditional kitty garb in favor of a French beret, a cape, and shoes with stars on the toes.

But one day, a “cat”-tastrophe strikes.

Everyone at school shows up wearing Louis’ signature outfit!

Will Louis decide that imitation really is the sincerest form of flattery, or will he take his fashion sense in a new direction?

With  his whimsical drawings and charming story, Daniel Wallace introduces a valuable lesson. Namely, that being different is not as important as making a difference. In keeping with Little Pickle Press’ theme of conscious capitalism this month, The Cat’s Pajamas also shows that our choices can affect the world around us. Published by Inkshares, Inc., it’s a delightful way to start conversations about creativity, individualism, and having the courage to be yourself.

Conscious capitalism through fashion.

Uniting Humanity Through Fashion

There are many universal mediums today, allowing us to cross boundaries in shorter periods of time and without censorship. We’re talking about Twitter, Facebook, Google, and the networks of the future. But have you thought about the non-virtual world? It has the ability to transform our consciousness, providing knowledge of the world through the wisdom of cultures. Welcome to the world of fashion and the daily ritual of wearing a piece of apparel every day that has the potential of “defining” you.

We’re familiar with the stories and research that indicate that an unconscious judgment call is made, a perception created at some level, within the first forty seconds of physically meeting someone new. Interestingly, what you wear plays as an important part in the casting of that vote, as does the way you wear your hair or make up, your voice, and your posture. Such is the power of fashion—the ability to define one from the outside.

Now we look at the power of fashion to define and transform the individual from the inside, too. Ponder for a moment the ability to connect with people and planet through our clothes—what would you say to this? In reality, this concept is absent in our daily conversation because brands and companies that produce, market, and sell clothing today have kept this information from us; they have denied it as a priority and denounced the impact that this information can have on the overall shopping-purchasing decision we as consumers make on a daily basis.

The reality is that our clothes are just as important to our overall well-being as the food we eat. If food fuels the body, provides energy and ability to perform our work, and is a medium to celebrate seasons and festivities, then the clothes we wear have the same ability to transform ourselves both inside and out. In fact, I would say that if we are what we eat, then we wear what we stand for.

We realize that fashion has the ability to define us as edgy, classic, outdoorsy, punk-like, powerful, and bold. But it’s also a way to also transform our psyches, shape our values, and rethink our impact in this world. The brands we wear are more than just color, style, and print. Our apparel represents the work, livelihood, inspiration, and fate of real people and resources from our planet. Each person along the journey has a story to share—from where and how people live to how they have been treated, compensated, and acknowledged for the work they do. Clothing has a story of fabric and fiber that no fortune can possibly replace—one that speaks to the heart and soul of why we do what we do. These are the stories worth investigating, discovering, and sharing.

We learn more about ourselves when we connect with the world—not just virtually, but through all of the elements that lend themselves to honoring the people who make our daily lives joyful and fun. We have the ability to be more conscious in our choices. We also have the power to vote with our dollars, supporting the decisions of companies and brands that share vital information that impacts our well-being and that of the planet. It is this “triple bottom line” (people, planet, and profit) that reflects this type of business practice and is what is expected of the conscious consumer for the good of the world.

Every day we wear a piece of clothing that has touched several people along the way. It is something most of us take for granted. Perhaps it’s time to revisit this journey, to step back and ponder how aligned each piece of clothing is to our own values. Let’s celebrate the fact that fashion has the potential to connect us in deeper and more profound ways.

Dhana is a mission-driven company and offers a solution to connect people and planet through our clothes.  We strive to unite the beauty of nature, the choice of natural, organic elements, the celebration of world cultures, the creative genius of global artists, the passion of entrepreneurs, and the voices of children through the universal medium of fashion. TIMELESS FASHION. Together We’re Wearin’ the World!

Shamini Dhana is the founder and CEO of Dhana Inc. As an entrepreneur, speaker, and parent, Shamini continues to give back to the global community through educating kids on the impact of their choices every day, and through partnerships with other socially and environmentally conscious organizations. 

Practicing conscious capitalism with Dhana EcoKids

Featured B Corp of the Month:

Dhana EcoKids

This month, Little Pickle Press is focusing on conscious capitalism, the practice of using purchase and production power to implement positive changes that benefit people and the environment. To that end, we would like to direct your attention to our Featured B Corp of the Month, Dhana EcoKids.

If you have children in your life, you know that “organic” clothing is all the rage right now, as people look for clothing that is good for their kids and for the environment. Scratch below the surface of many clothing lines that claim to be organic, and things don’t always look so pretty. For one thing, the word “organic” itself has as many definitions as products it is used to describe. For another, the clothing may be organic, but is often produced in a way that is harmful to the environment—and to the people making the clothing for consumers to buy. Confused? Make it easy on yourself by taking some time to get to know Dhana EcoKids.

Dhana EcoKids sets a high standard, and as a result their customers can rely on their forthrightness and reliability while at the same time dressing their children in beautiful, well-crafted garments. Dhana doesn’t hide behind catch phrases. Instead, they clearly define all the terms they use on their website.

Want to know what Dhana means when they say “organic”?

“In simplest terms, organic means that a product is grown without the use of synthetic fertilizers, pesticides, genetically modified organisms (GMO’s), sewage sludge, or ionizing radiation. According to the USDA National Organic Program (NOP), organic agricultural products are also “produced by farmers who emphasize the use of renewable resources and the conservation of soil and water to enhance environmental quality for future generations.”

To this end, they use only Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) certified cotton to make all of their kids’ fashions. GOTS certification includes both ecological and social criteria, and is backed by independent certification of the entire textile supply chain.

How about “fair trade?”

“In plain English, “fair trade” means that the workers who create our goods enjoy safe working conditions, reasonable hours, and a living wage, and are treated with respect as human beings.” 

Dhana has the certifications to back up all of their claims, including BCorp, Social Accountability International Certified, Green America Gold Certified, and others. Clearly a corporation that believes in walking their talk, just like us at Little Pickle Press!

Dhana EcoKids considers their values to be a guiding light for the company. Not only is their clothing sustainable and organic, they are dedicated to diversity and maintaining a strong connection with nature. They also donate a percentage of their to communities all over the world, and strive to raise environmental awareness in whatever way they can.

Beautiful, high quality children’s clothing from a company that truly cares about the world around them and strives to make a difference. In the words of founder and CEO Shamini Dhana, “Our kids are global ambassadors of tomorrow and towards a sustainable future.”

What are you waiting for? Visit Dhana EcoKids today!